Technological watch

The Road to Bring FDCA and PEF to the Market

Biobased polymers and materials are desperately needed to replace fossil-based materials in the world’s transition to a more sustainable lifestyle. In this article, Avantium describes the path from invention towards commercialization of their YXY® plants-to-plastics Technology, which catalytically converts plant-based sugars into FDCA—the chemical building block for PEF (polyethylene furanoate). PEF is a plant-based, highly recyclable plastic, with superior performance properties compared to today’s widely used petroleum-based packaging materials. The myriad of topics that must be addressed in the process of bringing a new monomer and polymer to market are discussed, including process development and application development, regulatory requirements, IP protection, commercial partnerships, by-product valorisation, life cycle assessment (LCA), recyclability and circular economy fit, and end-of-life. Advice is provided for others considering embarking on a similar journey, as well as an outlook on the next, exciting steps towards large-scale production of FDCA and PEF at Avantium’s Flagship Plant and beyond.

Publication date: 26/02/2022

Author: Ed de de Jong

Reference: doi: 10.3390/polym14050943

MDPI (polymers)


This project has received funding from the Bio Based Industries Joint Undertaking under the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under grant agreement No 837761.